Rolls-Royce and Bentley drive home record global sales

Marion Dakers
TWO of Britain’s luxury car brands enjoyed unprecedented global sales last year, driven by booming demand in the Middle East and parts of Asia.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said today it delivered 3,630 vehicles in 2013, up 1.5 per cent to give the firm its fourth record-breaking year in a row.

The UK has been “stable” for the company in recent years, chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos said, while the Middle East saw 17 per cent growth last year. China, one of its biggest markets alongside the US, delivered an 11 per cent rise in sales.

Rolls-Royce plans to add 100 extra jobs this year at its Goodwood factory in West Sussex, where it has been based for just over a decade.

“The Britishness is crucial, the crown jewels in our cars,” Muller-Otvos told City A.M.. “I’m often asked whether we would build the cars elsewhere but it’s a conflict of what Rolls-Royce is all about.”

The firm, owned by BMW since 1998, has around 120 dealerships worldwide and is looking to increase the total to 140 in the next few years.

Bentley’s sales last year rose 10.9 per cent to 10,120 – narrowly beating its 2007 record of 10,014.

The Crewe firm said yesterday the surge in deliveries was driven by 28 per cent growth in the Americas, its biggest market, and a 25 per cent rise in British sales to 1,381 cars.

But deliveries in China were down 2.8 per cent for the Volkswagen-owned marque, after a near-ten-fold increase from 258 in 2007 to 2,191 last year.